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What Does It Mean to Date Someone in Reality – Not a Fairytale?

We talk about dating people, but what does it mean to date someone actually? Now that you think about it, it’s not an easy question to answer.

What Does It Mean to Date Someone

No two people see the same thing. In the context of understanding what does it mean to date someone, maybe you see it as exclusivity. Whereas, another sees dating as the equivalent to different flavors of ice cream.

When it comes to dating, no one really knows what it means. We throw around the phrase, “I’m dating someone,” but there’s a lot of grey area that goes along with that line.

No one is really working on figuring what it means. Instead, we all kind of float around through the dating world in hopes of not sinking.

[Read: How to make a dating checklist and see how it benefits your life]

What does it mean to date someone?

Once we talk about what it means to date someone, it’s actually pretty complex. For example, a couple of years ago, I dated a guy for three months. We were talking on the phone regularly, meeting each other a couple of times per week, and at that moment, I considered us to be dating. I wasn’t looking for another guy. I focused on getting to know him.

But did he consider that dating? Well, of course, I have no idea because we’re no longer together *so I guess he didn’t?*, but you understand my point. In his mind, we could have just been “hooking up” or in a “friends-with-benefits” stage.

So what does it mean to date someone? Let’s figure it out together.

#1 You have been seeing each other for a while. When you’re dating someone, there’s a decent amount of time you’ve spent with them. This isn’t something that just developed last week; instead, it’s been several weeks or months of seeing each other. If that’s the case, then it’s clear you are dating. Now, whether it’s exclusive or not is a different question. [Read: 6 really easy ways to raise the topic of exclusivity without feeling awkward]

#2 You’re starting to see their true colors. When you date someone, you’re interested in finding out who they really are. In the beginning, it’s all about looking good and being on your best behavior. But, when you’re dating someone, you want to see what’s past that to who they really are. You talk about your childhood, share intimate details about yourself, etc.

#3 You’re actively getting to know each other. You don’t send each other a text every now and then, seeing when you can meet up. Instead, you actively invest in getting to know each other. You want to know how they grew up, what their passions are, how they see their future, and vice versa. Dating someone means you’re going beneath the surface. [Read: The 60 must-ask, get to know you questions for your new romance]

#4 You see each other consistently. Most hookups aren’t consistent. You’ll see each other once a week, maybe even once a month, but there’s no consistency. You don’t share a date night or create a routine. When you’re dating someone, there’s consistency, and that’s because you have feelings for each other and want to see where this goes.

#5 You can picture yourself settling down with them. When you think about the person you’re dating, you imagine yourself in a serious relationship in the future. And that’s a great sign. Now, it doesn’t mean you will be together, but it shows that you’re trying to see if they suit you for something more serious. 

#6 You see and accept their flaws. When you’re dating someone, you look beyond the exterior. Yes, they’re attractive, but you want you to know who they are. It’s the entire point of dating someone. When you’re dating someone, you’re looking at their flaws and seeing if they’re something you can accept in a long-term relationship. [Read: 19 sure signs you’re in an exclusive relationship already]

#7 There’s a deeper connection. You talk about more than just what your favorite color is or the latest movie that just came out. When you spend time together, you really talk. Of course, this doesn’t mean you will get married, but when you’re dating someone, you get to know them. There’s a deeper connection which is what’s keeping you attracted to each other. [Read: 13 signs you’re both emotionally connected and falling hard]

#8 You’re not seeing other people. If you’ve decided not to see other people and delete your dating apps, well, then you’re taking it upon yourself to date this person. Now, are they doing the same thing as you? This is something to talk about. If not, you’ll never find out, and you run the risk of heartbreak.

#9 You don’t necessarily have sex when together. If you only see each other to have sex, then it sounds like this is more of a hookup. Something casual without any strings attached. But, if you hang out together and do not necessarily have sex, then it looks like there’s more to your relationship other than the physical attraction. 

#10 You decided to be exclusive. If you have decided to be exclusive, then it means you’re dating. Once exclusive, it means neither of you is interested in seeing anyone else. And if that doesn’t scream, “We’re dating!” then I don’t know what does. Exclusiveness means you’re dating. That is that. [Read: 8 subtle signs your fling is turning into a real relationship]

#11 “Dating someone” means you’re dating. This is a little tricky, but stay with me. If you’re “dating” or “hooking up” with someone, that doesn’t mean you’re “dating someone.” I could just mean you’re casually dating. But if you’re “dating someone,” then, yes, you are dating. I know it sounds a wee bit confusing, but read it again… and maybe, again.

[Read: The 17 signs that answer the question: are we dating?]

When it comes to understanding what does it mean to date someone, it’s important to know you’re on the same page as your partner. If not, it could lead to a broken heart. No one wants that.

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and ...
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